There's no "one size fits all" when it comes to Medicare. When you're shopping for coverage, it will help to compare your plan options to decide which combination is going to meet your health care and budget needs. Then, you can compare individual plans to get an even better idea of which plan(s) will be a good fit for you.
Medicare parts and plans can be combined for the coverage you want.
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or just Part A or just Part B
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus a standalone Prescription Drug (Part D) plan
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus a standalone Prescription Drug (Part D) plan plus a Medicare Supplement plan
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus a Medicare Supplement plan
A Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan with built-in drug coverage
A Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan without drug coverage
A Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan without drug coverage plus a standalone Prescription Drug (Part D) plan
Note: Combination 7 is only available if you choose a Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage or a Medicare Savings Account (MSA) plan. These are the only types of Medicare Advantage plans that can be combined with a standalone Medicare Prescription Drug plan.
Medicare Advantage plans offer all the benefits of Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (doctor coverage). Many plans also offer Part D prescription drug coverage and may also include extra benefits not provided by Original Medicare.
Part of shopping for a plan is looking at what's important to you. Do you need prescription drug coverage? Do you have providers you'd like to see? How about extras like wellness programs or a fitness benefit?
Maybe you're happy with Original Medicare and the coverage it provides. One thing it doesn't provide, though, is Part D prescription drug coverage. And in many cases, if you don't have prescription drug coverage, you might have to pay a penalty.
If you're shopping for a Medicare prescription drug plan, it's important to have a good idea of how each plan will meet your specific needs. Do you take a few or many prescription drugs? Do you have a pharmacy you'd like to visit?